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Akai S Series (950, 1000 etc) Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
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Akai S Series (950, 1000 etc)

Anyone here rock any of the Akai S series? I've got a 950, which I use for drums, but was looking at getting another one. Just interested to see if people still use them and what they do like/don't etc, what models they think are better. I've got an mpc 3000, mpc 2000xl and an s950. I enjoy sequencing with the 3000, I just feel it has a nicer feel to it, but chopping is so much easier on the 2000xl, plus don't hate me but I prefer the sound, it seems flatter. I find it easy to chop on the 950 but don't have enough ram to use it as my primary sampler, although I will be expanding it. It'd be ideal to have the 950 for drums and stabs/hits, and another s series for longer samples/everything else, then just sequence with the 3000, I'm just not sure what S series I should be looking for in terms of sound, is there a model that soundsl like the 2000xl? On the other hand I'm considering just using the xl and s950, but I don't want to get rid of the 3000 :-(, I love it too much so it would just sit in storage. Damn my gear lust.

Also if you've got some in storage or wanna get rid of yours I'd be interested depending what model.

Cheers
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
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JRock's Avatar
 

S2000XL.

I Love my S900 for drums. I sampled my 909 on it and now I rarely turn it on. I sequence everything from my MPC1000. I thought that was the cat's ass till I picked up the 900 for $50! Now the drums on it seem lifeless:(
The 900 is a bit of a PITA to sample on to, but that's the price you pay for that crisp nasty sound
Old 16th December 2010
  #3
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I didn't know there was an S2000xl? I knew there was a 2000 but not xl?

I love my 950, I find it a pleasure to use. And the results are rewarding anyway. Haha, I went from a 500, to 1000, I though the 1000 was the **** until I went to 2000xl and then got the 950 for 400 bucks AU, bit harsh but worth it, looks brand new. Despite all the extra features I will never go back to a 1000/500. Sounds weak and thin and feels like I'm playing with a hasbro toy, not a machine.
Old 16th December 2010
  #4
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Akai S Series (950, 1000 etc)

I have a S950/SP setup upstate (about 3 hrs away) and I love using it when I'm there, but for space on convenience reasons I use a mPc3000 exclusively down here, although I may re-introduce an Ensoniq into the arsenal...I love the 950 and would be happy using it exclusively with a computer setup or SP or something but I can't deal with floppies, so it's only a for-fun or "make it and print it" situation currently.

Still my favorite sounding sampler of all time though...that and an ASR/EPS16. Easy to get good powerful, lo-fi (but still clearer than most 12 bit samplers for some reason...I think it might be 44 or 48khz) sound out of it.
Old 16th December 2010
  #5
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I'd like to use the 3000 exclusively, I just find it so painful cutting samples on, I normally record, trim, copy entire sound, truncate, then go to copy do the same until I get all the cuts I want, plus I prefer the xl sound. I have an asr but haven't had enough time to sit down and fully go through It, I did enjoy using it though and found my way around quite quick, sounded lovely too. I'd love to get an sp, I have enough sampler/sequencers as it is though. Ideally a 1/1100 with max ram or 2000 would be good, to run long side my 3000, I can't find any 1/1100 for sale anywhere though. I don't find floppies a problem at all either, I like having a floppy per beat, I prefer material processes over digital/computerized.
Old 16th December 2010
  #6
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I beleive you're pretty well set, I dunno what another s series will give you over your 3k or 2kxl, it's the same minus the seq... (unles you go for the 24bits units) If you want new toys why dont you look at something totally different like a Roland VP9000 or a VariOS?
Old 16th December 2010
  #7
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I had an S2000. Sold it, regretted. That was the **** for drums.
Old 16th December 2010
  #8
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Just get a expanded 950 or extra memory for yours. IMO you don't need more than one 950 so sell the spare. I also have a 3k and 950, although tend to use the 3 for both seq & samples these days but still hold on to the 950 just incase. Used to own a mpc2000 & sold it once i got the 3, hated the sound on the 3 seemed to have a better feel IMO.
Old 17th December 2010
  #9
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I don't have a spare 950, I was saying I'd like to get a s1000 or 2000 use that for longer samples rather then my 2000xl, which I would sell, use the 950 for drums and whatever and the other s model for chops and samples. Cause I love the feel of the 3k, kind of prefer the sound of the xl and can't stand sampling on the 3k. Basically I just want two S models rack mounted right next to each other for sampling, and use the 3k for sequencing. I found having more then one mpc in the chain just slows my workflow and takes up unecessary room. I was wondering what s models people tend to use or recommend, because I only have experience with the 950, and am not that keen on the 5000/6000.

I guess I'm familiar with the Akai stuff, and I enjoy using it, I'd rather not get something random and have no idea what to expect.
Old 17th December 2010
  #10
Gear Addict
 

i love how the s950 sound on drums. I have a similar setup except having a mpc25k with the asr 10. Honestly the s950 in sound is my favorite. The asr 10 sounds cool, more mojo than the mpc25k. Just i don't really enjoy chopping on it as much cause i tend to forget which root key i may have set my chop for and put the wrong one and messed up the whole thing i'm trying to do. I often desired a 3000 cause i was curious of how it would "sound" as well as a sp1200 for it's sound and just for a collector sake. Thought i must admit despite the sound of these samplers, i now perfer software to chop samples now and slightly use my setup outside the s950. Thinking this asr 10 may soon be for sale and this mpc25k. Maybe pick up a maschine and a motif rack. Though i'ma drum head so i will always keep my eye out for a sp1200 and mpc 3k!
Old 17th December 2010
  #11
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I have a cd3000i which is like a s3000xl (actually i have seen no real differences between the two) the samples I record into it sound just like my mpc 2000 non xl. And the mpc loads s3000 format sounds which my cd3000 produces. I don't use it much these days I will track the last few sounds I have in it and probably ebay it. If you are interested we can work something out.
Old 18th December 2010
  #12
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atma's Avatar
i've always wanted a 950. i just hate dealing with floppies!!
Old 18th December 2010
  #13
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Regarding the S950, it's a shame that no one has managed to reverse engineer the IB-109 scsi board for it. Maybe we should organize a global 950 owners petition and with enough members maybe we could convince a qualified tech that it would be a profitable endeavour?
Old 18th December 2010
  #14
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Akai S Series (950, 1000 etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dialectic
Regarding the S950, it's a shame that no one has managed to reverse engineer the IB-109 scsi board for it. Maybe we should organize a global 950 owners petition and with enough members maybe we could convince a qualified tech that it would be a profitable endeavour?
THIS
Old 18th December 2010
  #15
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Nahuel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dialectic View Post
Regarding the S950, it's a shame that no one has managed to reverse engineer the IB-109 scsi board for it. Maybe we should organize a global 950 owners petition and with enough members maybe we could convince a qualified tech that it would be a profitable endeavour?
btw what can be connected to that "rs-232c" connector, aint that some older scsi connector?... I'd like to use my 950 a lil more but I dont want to deal with floppies... for now I use it as a resampling tool, it's cool but it could get more use with some sort of HD or Flash drive.
Old 18th December 2010
  #16
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Akai S Series (950, 1000 etc)

Anybody wanna buy my S3000XL? Loaded with 16mb of RAM! I have SCSI drives, scsi cables and audio snakes! PM for pics and info.

My apologies for the hijack.
Old 19th December 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio507 View Post
THIS

???
Old 19th December 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahuel View Post
btw what can be connected to that "rs-232c" connector, aint that some older scsi connector?...
it's a standard serial connection not scsi
Old 19th December 2010
  #19
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Dayl's Avatar
What is your opinions on the S2000? I'm staring at a mint model now, never used one.. have a MPC 2000xl that I use like a N00b though. I ask because.. well, its so damn cheap that if it is any good.. why not.

Thanks
Old 19th December 2010
  #20
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Nahuel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace_TX View Post
it's a standard serial connection not scsi
Ok thanks
Old 19th December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayl View Post
What is your opinions on the S2000? I'm staring at a mint model now, never used one.. have a MPC 2000xl that I use like a N00b though. I ask because.. well, its so damn cheap that if it is any good.. why not.

Thanks
Sounds nice and clean.BUT the screen is small.You can pick up another model with large screen for cheap so why.Ive heard it said that the s1100 is a great sounding machine with all the trimmings.And the s3000 ( xl is more modern).yeah
Old 19th December 2010
  #22
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Dayl's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goa-Dubs View Post
Sounds nice and clean.BUT the screen is small.You can pick up another model with large screen for cheap so why.Ive heard it said that the s1100 is a great sounding machine with all the trimmings.And the s3000 ( xl is more modern).yeah
cool, this one is $90 Nz currency... mint.. thats stupid cheap., but I dont really need it.

Are the other ones you're talking about, the ones (or unit) with the detachable screen?
Old 19th December 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayl View Post
cool, this one is $90 Nz currency... mint.. thats stupid cheap., but I dont really need it.

Are the other ones you're talking about, the ones (or unit) with the detachable screen?
No!!!Detachable screen=s5000???s6000 and z8.These you can also have a hard drive in.Cool.I know its tempting to get a bargain sampler,but "for a few dollars more"(NZ?) worth getting something interesting.peace
Old 19th December 2010
  #24
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fanriffic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dialectic View Post
Regarding the S950, it's a shame that no one has managed to reverse engineer the IB-109 scsi board for it. Maybe we should organize a global 950 owners petition and with enough members maybe we could convince a qualified tech that it would be a profitable endeavour?
I'm in!!
Old 19th December 2010
  #25
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I still have the S5000 in the rack but I haven't turned it on for a couple of years at least. I really should, I remember it was pretty pleasant to work with.
Old 19th December 2010
  #26
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I got a S6000... pretty nice for Drums! Sometimes I use it for some Sample work. I should use it more heh
Old 19th December 2010
  #27
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I have an S950 which I still use extensively for a lot for Hip Hop, Breakbeat and Electronica type tracks. I personally find sampling,chopping and editing on this machine really painless and intergrates well with my workflow. For me the plus points of the machine include its punchy 12bit sound, its variable sample rate for applying a lo-fi touch, GREAT LPF, and its primitive timestretch which can be used to apply all sorts of quirky audio atributes to a sample. The warp function and alternate looping can also be used to great effect.

The only down side for me is having to resort to flopppies. Of course you can always use the machine to obtain the sound you want and then record the sample/s into your DAW of choice but i do like to have a library of sounds at my disposal that I can audition and also tweak further if necessary during mixdown.

My only workaround (and it is quite a workaround!) is once I have my S950 samples edited and assigned to a program I save it to a floppy and then load the floppy into my Akai S1100. Once inside the S1100 I can then use its SCSI function to backup the samples and programs on to ZIP and archive them for later use. This way I just have a handfull of ZIP discs as opposed to hundreds of floppies and the samples still retain their original sample rate and bit depth of the S950.

I can then use the S1100 and its ZIP drive to audition my S950 samples quiickly and begin sequencing and working on a track using the 1100. Once the track starts to take form, if I then require to have the samples returned back into the realm of the S950 to exploit its filter etc (the S1100 filters sounds very different indeed) I then transfer it back in again via a floppy and apply the final tweaks and then print to Logic.
Old 20th December 2010
  #28
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Dayl's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goa-Dubs View Post
No!!!Detachable screen=s5000???s6000 and z8.These you can also have a hard drive in.Cool.I know its tempting to get a bargain sampler,but "for a few dollars more"(NZ?) worth getting something interesting.peace
AH, thats the one. NZ = New Zealand. Approx $55 US dollars in terms of interesting for that price.. you're right, $$ may be better spent on some of the hand percussion or something.
Old 20th December 2010
  #29
Here for the gear
I had all the old akais in their days and now I have my S900 (my first sampler!) the EPS16+rack , MPC2kXL , ASR-x and SP-505.
The S3000XL for me sounds quite similar to the MPC2000XL, in some ways the S3kxl has a better bass accuracy.
If you like to sequence your stuff on the MPC3000 keep it as sequencer and use the S950 and S3000xl for sampling.
Stay away from the S2000, it's a tricky underpowered S3000, the sound is the same of the 3kXL but the machine lacks a lot of editing features that are the best part of the S3000.
Old 20th December 2010
  #30
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hijack all you want! it's nice to see people still using these samplers. It's also nice on these forums that everyone isn't like, what's an s950? I use fruity loops..

I think a flash card reader in a 950 would be amazing! Maybe we should hit up SCSI for samplers or something?

After sitting down with my gear all weekend, I currently just have my 2000xl sequencing and for all non drum samples and the 950 for drums. I think I was worrying about my setup too much and stressing like I need this swing but this sound! Which prevented me from actually making anything because in my head I didn't have the right setup or whatever. Really we all know its how you use what you've got, and I think I got caught in the gear hype and forgot this. Still, I enjoy trying and playing with new gear, and would like to pick up another s series somewhere down the track. I've got my eyes on another 950, a 1000/11000 or a 3000xl.
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